CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has been ranked as the most bike-friendly city in the nation, according to a leading industry publication.
Over the last several years, Chicago has climbed up the list of Bicycling magazine’s most bike-friendly cities in America. In 2010, it was ranked number 10. In 2012, it was in 5th place, and last year it was ranked number 2.
The magazine pointed to the city’s growing network of protected bike lanes, and its expansion of the Divvy bike sharing program into lower income neighborhoods on the South and West sides.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel accepted the award Monday morning at the entrance to The 606, a 2.7-mile elevated cycling and running trail also known as The Bloomingdale Trail.
“606 is a telling example of linking four neighborhoods that were once divided into feeling a more – not just that you live in Wicker Park, or you live in Humboldt Park, or you live in Logan Square, or Bucktown; but you live along the 606,” he said.
Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, said the mayor always has been bullish on bikes, going back to their first meeting.
“We were saying we should bring bike share to Chicago, and we should have 100 miles of advanced bike lanes like protected bike lanes, where there’s physical separation between the people on bikes and the cars,” he said.
According to the mayor’s office, the city has created 50 miles of bike lanes since 2011, and the mayor is working to create 50 more.